Chris Sale is headed to Boston in a winter blockbuster deal.
The Red Sox reportedly acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday for top prospect Yoan Moncada and prospects Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe and Victor Diaz.
The ace southpaw was long rumored to be on the trade market and was reportedly on the verge of being traded to the Washington Nationals as of Tuesday morning.
But the White Sox instead worked out the deal with the Red Sox for Moncada and the other three prospects.
"When you trade a pitcher of Chris Sale's ability, it can only be because we were motivated by an impactful return of young talent, and we have more than accomplished that with Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz," Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager, said in a statement. "We believe each of these players can be part of a quality core of future championship caliber White Sox teams."
Sale, 27, is 74-50 with a 3.00 ERA and 1,244 strikeouts in 228 career games (148 starts), all with the White Sox. In 2016, Sale posted a 17-10 record and a 3.34 ERA with 233 punchouts over 32 starts.
The highly competitive Sale also was embroiled with controversy last season when he was scratched from a start and sent home after cutting up the team's throwback uniforms that he didn't want to wear. The White Sox suspended him for five days in the wake of the incident.
The situation fueled speculation that Sale would be traded prior to last season's trading deadline but he remained with the club ... until Tuesday.
"We cannot thank Chris enough for all he has done and what he has meant for the White Sox organization since we drafted him in 2010," Hahn said. "We certainly wish he and his family all the best."
Moncada, a 21-year-old Cuban infielder widely viewed as the top prospect in baseball, struggled after making his major league debut in 2016, batting .211 (4-for-19) with one RBI in eight games with the Red Sox.
But he also was named by Baseball America as the 2016 Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .294/.407/.511 with 31 doubles, six triples, 15 home runs, 62 RBI, 72 walks, 94 runs scored and 45 stolen bases over 106 games between Class A Salem and Class AA Portland.??
Kopech, a 20-year-old right-handed pitcher, is the fourth-rated prospect in the Red Sox's system according to Baseball America. Kopech, a native of Longview, Texas, has gone 8-7 with a 2.61 ERA (39 ER/134.2 IP) and 172 strikeouts in 36 appearances (35 starts) over three minor league seasons in the Red Sox minor league system after being selected in the first round (33rd overall) of the 2014 draft out of Mount Pleasant (Texas) High School.??
Basabe, a 20-year-old outfielder, was Boston's eighth-ranked prospect. Basabe, a switch-hitter, has recorded a .253 (281-1,109) average with 59 doubles, 25 triples, 21 home runs, 134 RBI, 204 runs scored and 73 steals in 298 career games over four minor league seasons in the Boston organization.
Diaz is a 22-year-old right-hander. Diaz, a native of Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic, is 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA (31 ER/93.0 IP), 17 saves, 98 strikeouts and just two home runs allowed in 58 relief appearances over two seasons (2015-16) in the Red Sox system. He was signed as an international free agent on December 12, 2014.